I use tarot and oracle cards as tools for reflection and contemplation. Rather than divining the future, they are a way for me to look more deeply at the "now."
"The goal isn't to arrive, but to meander, to saunter, to make your life a holy wandering." ~ Rami Shapiro

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Reason for a Party

From the Anna K. Tarot, the Ten of Pentacles:
In this image, three generations get ready for a celebration with friends and family.  I had a friend in college whose motto was, "There's always some reason to have a party!"  As I look back at yesterday's card (the Five of Pentacles) and compare it to today's, I am reminded how quickly life changes.  I've not felt much joy lately, but that has mostly been my own fault; I have consistently focused all my attention on what is wrong in my life instead of what is good.  I need to take the advice from that old friend, and look at the many blessings I have to celebrate.  Life is good, if I'll take the time to notice.

From the Green Man Tarot comes the "Hawthorn:"
Challenge opens the way.
Here in the South, we have a native hawthorn, the "mayhaw."  Many people use its fruit to make delicious mayhaw jelly, but it also has some incredibly sharp thorns that fruit pickers need to be mindful of.  This shrub mimics life, with its sweetness of joyful times and sharpness of the painful ones.  However the hawthorn is also known for the medicinal value of its berries, which have been shown to reduce blood pressure and help with chronic heart problems.  I find that most of the challenges in life are challenges of the heart - how to heal its pain and overcome its fears.  But even here this plant reminds me - reach with your roots and stay grounded in reality while reaching out with your arms to embrace those who will love and support you.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

No Strings Attached

From the Anna K. Tarot, the Five of Pentacles:
It's cold and snowing, and the tarp put up for a makeshift shelter looks pretty pitiful.  M. Scott Peck said, "Life is difficult," but he also stated, " Community requires the ability to expose our wounds and weaknesses to our fellow creatures."  If I need help and want help, I must stop trying to act as if I am fine and reach out to others.  The elderly woman ministering to the elderly man in this image is touching; she doesn't look like she has many resources herself, yet she shares the one thing most people hold onto the tightest - her time.  As a giver I've thought, "Will they expect me to keep doing this?"  As a receiver, I've thought, "What will I have to do to pay them back?"  These are the type of thoughts that keep me isolated from others.  There will be days when I will have the chance to be the one to offer help and days I will need to ask for it.  Both sides require opening a closed heart.

From the Green Man Tree Oracle comes "Elder:"
From sacrifice comes restoration.
People these days just don't understand sacrifice.  I often hear a parent or spouse say, "I sacrificed so much for them, but I didn't get anything in return!"  The root of sacrifice is giving without expecting anything to be given back.  There's no quid pro quo - this for that.  I find it hard to do a good deed or kindness without at least some recognition.  But the fullness my soul hungers isn't going to come from some ego-driven action, it's going to come from compassion with no strings attached.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Skinflints and Fires in the Mind

From the Anna K. Tarot, the Four of Pentacles:
On a cold winter day, a man buries coins in the ground while his family watches.  What strikes me as odd about this picture is that the people all seem to have adequate coats and hats for the weather, the man has a huge bag of apples on his back, and a stack of firewood is bundled beside him.  I get the feeling that he is protecting his stash from his own flesh and blood!  I once worked for a man who had four children, and I remember hearing stories from them about what a skinflint their dad was.  Everything he bought at the grocery store was marked with a date - from shampoo to food.  If it was used up before the date, they had to do without until he thought it necessary to buy more.  The nutty part of all this is that this family, while not rich, would be considered financially well-off.  He felt he was teaching them a lesson in money management while they all thought he was being mean and tight-fisted.  Moderation is a smart choice in this day and age, but denying myself any enjoyment when my basic needs are met seems based more on fear than reality.

From the Green Man Tree Oracle comes "Gorse:"
A fire in the mind.
This thorny evergreen is well adapted to withstand fires; its seed pods  are opened by fire, and it readily resprouts from the roots when burned.  The danger is that it is also highly flammable.  Gorse reminds me that inspiration can bring about creative thinking and actions or destructive ones.  Like the man above, I may be fueled by paranoia or resentment instead of a just cause.  I must be discerning in order to figure out which fire I'm tending...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Taking Care of What I've Got

From the Anna K. Tarot, the Queen of Pentacles:
This queen is out collecting apples from her trees, but stops to examine a leaf.  Is that sooty mold?  Is there an infestation of aphids?  While she appreciates the bounty the orchard brings, she knows the value of caring for what you own.  This queen abhors the "throw-away and get a newer version" mindset of many people.  For her, you tend and nurture the blessings you have in order to keep them operating and functioning smoothly, whether it a tree, one's body, or a business.

From the Green Man Tree Oracle comes the "Yew:"
Perseverance holds the key to wisdom.
Yews are magnificent trees that are slow growing and long-lived.  Because there is rarely any wood as old as the entire tree (they hollow with age, making ring counts impossible), it is hard to accurately determine the potential age of a tree.  Yet there are some specimens believed to be 2000 or more years old.  One trait that ensures its old age is that it does not tend to get diseased as it splits under the weight of new growth.  This tree is a reminder that youth doesn't hold all the answers.  Getting through the ups and downs of life year after year brings its own blessings and benefits.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Sky is Falling?

This week I'll be using the Anna K. Tarot created by Anna Klaffinger.  Today's draw is the Ten of Wands:
This is the Voice of Doom speaking! Special bulletin! Flash! The sky is falling! A piece of it just hit you on the head! Now be calm. Don't get panicky. Run for your life! ~ Foxy Loxy in Chicken Little
Some people like to stay busy because they enjoy having a project to work on, while others like to distract themselves by having something to do that will keep them from thinking about other stuff.  But then there are others whose sense of self-worth is tied up in "doing" for other people, regardless of whether it is a sane choice or not.  Inevitably they wind up like the man in the image above, completely overwhelmed with everything on their plate, asking "Why do people expect so much of me?"  Of course the answer is simple - he can't say "no."  This card reminds me that people-pleasing is a subtle form of manipulation, it's not something I do for other people.  And if I don't want to feel like the sky is falling, I need to know my limits and learn to be honest about them with others.

The other deck I'll be using this week is the Green Man Tree Oracle, created by John Matthews and Will Worthington.  Today's draw is "Hazel:"
Seek wisdom in the depths.
With the availability of colleges, libraries, and the internet, knowledge is easy to come by.  But wisdom isn't something than can be bought or borrowed - it comes from the rough and tumble world of experience.  The few glimpses I've had of it are usually when I find myself in situations like the guy above in the Ten of Wands.  I've hit bottom, my ego has (finally) stepped out of the way, and my mind opens to a lesson in life.  But to truly be defined as wisdom means I don't have to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over, expecting different results.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sensual Zen

From the Tarot of the Absurd, the Queen of Coins:
When I think of this queen, I imagine her baking bread for an elderly neighbor, creating an inner-city vegetable garden, or building a wheelchair ramp for the local elementary school.  However, as I look at this card, all she seems to be doing is sniffing a flower!  This queen is a doer, but she is very "Zen" about what she does.  Being such a sensual woman, she connects to each moment through all of her senses.  She smells the scent of rosemary as she walks by the bush, feels the velvety petals of the roses that decorate her table, sees the brown katydid in the weeds along the road, tastes the mint that grows by the porch steps, and hears the variety of songs the mockingbird sings.  She reminds me that it's not always about completing tasks - it's about paying attention while doing them.

From the Post-psychedelic Cyberpunk deck comes "the Door:"
Instead of giving a set meaning for this card, Falkov suggests thinking about what type of thoughts or feelings it brings up.  Do I want it to stay shut because I fear something beyond it?  Or do I feel trapped and want to hurry and open it?  Perhaps there is an adventure or opportunity on the other side waiting for me to find it.  Today I'll choose door number three.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Digging Holes

From the Tarot of the Absurd, the Five of Coins:
A distraught woman digs in an empty change purse.  She wears the shoes of the clown while he wears her high heels, making me think of the saying "borrowing from Peter to pay Paul."  Unfortunately (as the shovels indicate), this kind of solution only digs a deeper hole.  And though this card is about coins, it's not always about money.  Nights that I stay up too late, mornings that I skip breakfast, and days when I think I'm too busy to fit in exercise or meditation will eventually catch up with me.  Time to make some hard decisions about what is truly important, because I really don't look good in clown shoes...

From the Post-psychedelic Cyberpunk comes the "Glass Orb:"
Have you ever looked inside a snow globe, transfixed by what is inside?  The Glass Orb represents those times when I become so caught up in believing my perceptions, thinking all my assumptions are true, that I become oblivious to reality.  My view becomes so narrow and distorted, I don't even see how small it has shrunk.  This is precisely why I need friends who will be honest enough with me to tell me how deep I'm digging that hole that I'm standing in, and how inflexible my thinking has become.  They won't hesitate to break the snow globe that I've become fixated on.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wishing on Stars

From the Tarot of the Absurd, the Seven of Cups:
Seeing the dragons sipping tea underneath the stars made me think of the song "Puff the Magic Dragon" and the children's verse, "Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight; I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight."  Sevens are about making choices - what will fulfill me and bring me lasting joy rather than temporary pleasure?  I remember taking a career development test that was supposed to tell me what sort of jobs I would enjoy and do well (I seem to remember "farmer" was there along with "psychologist," neither of which I became).  It seems a huge responsibility to make choices, because I have to live with the consequences.  But the flip side would be to allow someone to tell me what to do, and I can't imagine being happy with that.  The bottom line is that no test, supernatural deity, or magical dragon is going to grant my wishes.  I'm just going to have to make an educated choice then put forth the effort to reach the star I'm aiming for.

From the Post-pychedelic Cyberpunk deck comes "the Shaman:"
Falkov describes the Shaman as someone who specializes in looking at "the underside of the world and his mind" and who is capable of "pushing through not just his own fears, but helping others overcome theirs."  I have so many resources available to me if I need them - doctors, therapists, and friends on the spiritual path.  They can share their tools with me so I can overcome challenges and meet my goals.  But I will be the one who must use the nails and hammer - no one can do it for me. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cracking Books and Eggs

From the Tarot of the Absurd, the Page of Coins:
This image made me smile, because this young student surrounded by stacks of books lives inside of me.  Everywhere I roost in the house, there are a few volumes nearby.  At the computer desk are three different translations of the Tao Te Ching and a Peterson guide on Eastern birds.  In the den, next to my spot on the couch, sits a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, Integral Christianity (for the book club), and a book on trees.  My bedside table is overflowing, but on the very top is The Trail Home by John Daniel and Tying Rocks to Clouds by William Elliot.  And nonfiction is not the only thing I read - fictional mind candy is one of my greatest escapes, especially if it is full of humor, such as Terry Prachett's books.  But half the fun of reading is discussing the books I've read with others, comparing notes, and finding out what they took away from what they read.  Literacy is one of the greatest blessings ever...

From the Post-psychedelic Cyberpunk comes "the Egg:"
Falkov explains the egg as a symbol of our present reality with the possibility to expand into a new one.  She writes that any person can experience this when they discover something new - "a little bit of light shines through, and then a whole new world is revealed, leaving behind the shell remnants of the old."  Perhaps this explains my fondness for reading; each book gives me a glimpse of something that makes me want to go out and experience it for myself.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pick Your Battles

From the Tarot of the Absurd, the Knight of Coins:
This guy is not concerned whether his comments are sharp and witty, that he is oozes charm and enthusiasm, or if he is known as the world's greatest lover.  This knight is suited up with a purpose - to do a job and do it well.  But wait... something is missing.  This knight isn't wearing any boots (he's barefoot), and he has stars instead of spurs at his heels.  Stars are an energy source, and his energy comes from doing and creating.  Being grounded in the practical (bare feet), he will gladly take care of all the mundane details that would send the other knights scurrying off in all directions.  Completion is his goal, and he will without a doubt accomplish it.

From the Post-psychedelic Cypberpunk comes the "Gunslinger:"
I've heard of having daggers for eyes, but this fellow has gun barrels!  Falcov describes this card as "Survival at any cost."  I think there is a time to fight for what I believe in, but I also have learned to pick my battles carefully and not get my panties in a wad about everything.  Taking the Knight of Coins into consideration above (who is well known to be quite stubborn), I think the lesson here is to learn to be flexible.  Some of my ideas and ways of doing things need to be replaced.  I don't want to get so distracted by the conflict that nothing gets done.  Instead I'll fight for only those truly worth keeping.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Stop Time, Unlock Your Mind

From the Tarot of the Absurd, the Hermit:
The sand in this hourglass have stopped their trickle, because the Hermit has wedged himself in the passageway.  He has temporarily stopped time in order to look back at the spiritual path he has walked.  He knows he needs a self-assessment before he continues, or else he may make no progress at all.  As I look back at my life, I see deserts where I walked in endless circles, dark forests where I was completely lost, and streams I floated down full of smug complacency.  But even with all the blind alleys, starts, and stops, I've found some hard-won wisdom.  My spirituality will never get me to THE mountaintop, it just teaches me to be a better climber as I continue on the way.

From the Post-psychedelic Cyberpunk comes "Riddle:"
A riddle helps me to think outside the box, to stretch my imagination and ideas in new ways.  In this image, many symbols are found in a vortex of keyholes.  The keyholes are like all the opinions and beliefs I hold; only by releasing my attachment to them will I be able to see another view and unlock my mind. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dancing in this Adventure of Life

This week I'll be using the Tarot of the Absurd, created by Jessica Rose Shanahan.  Today's draw is the Lovers:
I am reminded by this card what a dance any partnership is, one that requires a balance of give and take.  In this image, the woman allows the man to support her weight as she leans backward.  In my marriage, there are times when I am the cheerleader, and times I need encouragement; times when I need a shoulder to cry on, and times when I provide the shoulder; times when I have the strength and energy to get things done, and times when I rest and allow my partner to do what needs to be done.  It is a balanced commitment to each other, that defines any true partnership.

The oracle deck I'll be using this week is the Post-psychedelic Cyberpunk by Masha Falkov.  This morning's card is "The Eye:"
What would happen if we could observe, without preconceptions, expectations or judgments?  How would such unadulterated observation affect the way we interacted with others?  The Eye encourages me to look with the wonder of a child, to see without prejudice, looking objectively instead of subjectively.  Such a decision has the power to turn a frustrating, unhappy day into an adventure...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Worthwhile Mentors

From the Alchemical Renewed Tarot, the Hierophant:
Were it not for the elaborate chair and three-tiered crown, I might imagine this picture as story-time with grandpa.  Place explains that this trump deals with exoteric spirituality, the outer form taught to the masses.  Just as the sun and red candle represent the masculine/active principle and the moon and white candle symbolize the feminine/receptive principle, so are there two spiritual streams that can quench my thirst.  Maybe it is the American in me that always wants to blaze my own trail, but I do better with the inner/esoteric type that I find in meditation and contemplation.  Yet I know too well how easy it is to rationalize and twist my ideas into something acceptable, which is why I also need to be willing to listen to and heed the philosophies of other teachers. 

From the Oracle of the Radiant Sun comes "Fortune:"
Sun (fortune) in Leo (creative self-expression)
There are those who find themselves in the public eye not so much because they desire it, but because they are sought out.  Then there are those who have an intense desire to be the center of attention, not for humanitarian reasons but because of their big egos.  Think Gandhi and the Dalai Lama versus Pat Robertson and Fred Phelps.  I much prefer humble, loving teachers with a sense of humor than the judgmental, hellfire-and-damnation ones as mentors.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Getting Out of My Head

From the Alchemical Renewed Tarot, the Queen of Coins:
This beautiful, bare queen has nothing between her and the earth she stands on.  Every sense is fully awakened and on alert.  The only covering she wears is the crown on her head.  She reminds me of how important it is to stay grounded in the real world.  I've been living to much inside my own head lately, doing a lot of thinking, reading and researching.  I love to learn and think it is a good quality to have, but this queen tells me to bring it into the practical realm.  Time to get out of my head (which I can use as a protective boundary at times) and start living life.

From the Oracle of the Radiant Sun comes "Innovation:"
Jupiter (gain) in Aquarius (principles, humanity)
I think some of the most resourceful people I've ever encountered are those who have so little, or those who have experienced tough times such as the Depression.  They can take what seems of no consequence and create something amazing with it.  But like the Queen above, these people are big on doing, rather than just talking or planning things (notice how they both look to the right/active side of the card).  Their message is clear: take what you have and do something with it. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Finding My Way

From the Alchemical Renewed Tarot, the Seven of Vessels:
Which vessel would best fit me and my desires and needs?  Which holds the solution for that which will make me feel content and that I live with purpose?  My daughter was taking a personality profile test yesterday and asked me several times for my opinion (about her) on several of the questions.  I would've been stumped taking it too, but could readily give an answer for her.  I wonder why we humans can see others so clearly, yet can't quite define our own selves?  It's taken me over half a century to figure out what brings me satisfaction in my life and what doesn't - mostly through making the wrong choices.  But when I pick the right elixir, I immediately recognize it as the correct one.

From the Oracle of the Radiant Sun comes "Inheritance:"
I have no doubt that I've inherited traits, talents, and character defects from my family.  They are a part of who I am; but then there is a part that is uniquely me, that chooses not to follow the tradition or expectations.  Yet like the labyrinth above, following my own way sometimes feels like I am lost or that I'm getting nowhere.  But persistence and listening to my gut will help me eventually find my way to the center. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fill Me Up

From the Alchemical Renewed Tarot, the Ten of Coins:
Here is the Lord of Wealth; he's made it his life's purpose to build an empire so that he can live in luxury and have the power to do as he desires.  He has money on his mind all the time - how to make more and how to keep from losing any he has.  But now that he's old and has more money than he knows what to do with, has he really found joy?  I'm sure his toys and trips bring fleeting bouts of happiness, but it never lasts; he's still left with a hole in his soul.  He has people who want to share his wealth, but they don't really care for him at all (he's a bit like Donald Trump).  All his efforts have been focused on the material instead of on relationships.  At this stage in his life, I bet he would pay five hundred bucks just to have a cup of coffee and an honest heart-to-heart with just one trustworthy person...

From the Oracle of the Radiant Sun comes "Fulfilment:"
Saturn (ambition) in Sagittarius (optimism, adventure)
A man sits on a dock with a bag of money beside him and a talisman of good fortune overhead.  He waits for the ship to take him abroad to expand his assets.  While this card indicates success in business, it warns against a self-righteous attitude that tramples over others while going after a goal.  Ian Percy stated, "We judge others by their behavior. We judge ourselves by our intentions."  It's easy to rationalize bad behavior when I only look at my objective instead of the all the not-so-nice things I might do to reach it.  Today I will try to turn this around and focus more on my actions.

Monday, October 15, 2012


From the Alchemical Renewed Tarot, the Three of Coins:
Place gives this card the title of "Artist," representing someone who has acquired skills and knowledge enough to be recognized for his talent.  This January I will have completed a year in my nature journal - writing and drawing what I observe on my daily walks.  While my notes are just basically what I see - flowers, trees, bugs, birds, changes of the seasons, etc. - my drawings have progressed from rudimentary to more recognizable as I practice each day.  I'm learning to see and draw with the right side of my brain, and I'm learning to overlay several shades of colored pencils to find the right color.  I'm not an artist by any stretch of the imagination, but my persistence is paying off in the development of my sketches.

From the Oracle of the Radiant Sun comes "Devotion:"
Saturn (ambition) in Libra (sense of justice and beauty)
It seems sweet but sad that this dove will not leave his dead mate.  How long will he wait, thinking that what has happened might somehow be reversed?  Does he think that his unwavering dedication will make a difference?  I had a quote in my email from tut.com this morning that said, "happiness that's not present at the start of the journey will not be present at its end." If I'm not enjoying or finding some fulfillment in a task that I persevere in doing, my devotion will not magically make me eventually enjoy it.  Thankfully I do take pleasure in my walks and drawing, but I've been known to stick it out with other things that made me miserable.  Commitment is not always a a good trait depending on what the object of my devotion is...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lions and Lines

From the Alchemical Renewed Tarot, the King of Coins:
The lion has long represented kings, strength and dominion.  Place, in the booklet that accompanies his deck, describes the meaning of this card as "mastering one's environment and occupation."  My immediate environment is my home and my body.  These physical things, along with my finances, are what I must be a good steward of, as all resources will become depleted and disappear without the proper protection and care.  I may enjoy these gifts, but it is my responsibility to safeguard them as well.

From the Oracle of the Radiant Sun comes "Defence:"
Mars (action) in Taurus (material values)
The bull-man coin, the arrangement of swords, and the warriors on their horses all indicate a need to defend that which is important.  The horses are being reined in to keep them from charging down the hill, and I see this as not taking an aggressive stance but an assertive one.  The line has been drawn in the sand, and the attack will begin if someone crosses it.  For me, I am reminded that I must have boundaries to protect my health, home and family.  There are those who see me as a "resource" and have no qualms about using me up unless I take a firm stand.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Buck Stops Here

This week I'll be using the Alchemical Renewed Tarot, created by Robert Place.  Today's draw is the Ace of Swords:
A rainbow colored basilisk twines itself around a sword.  This mythical creature was said to have the head of a bird and the body of a reptile and was considered king of the serpents.  It played a dual role in alchemy, representing the destructive force of fire that allowed elements to be broken down, but also the immortalizing tonic produced by the philosopher's stone.  This card expresses the idea that my words and thoughts have two powers - to create and heal or to destroy and hurt.  A reminder to be mindful today of what I say and think.

The other deck I'll be using this week is the Oracle of the Radiant Sun, created by Caroline Smith and John Astrop.  This morning's card is "Authority:"
Mars (action) in Capricorn (duty, perseverance)
This card implies that actions taken should not be done impulsively but tempered with common sense.  A leadership position means that responsibility rests on my shoulders.  I might have the power to make decisions, but I also must deal with the fallout from the result of those choices. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Charges Developing

From the Prairie Tarot, the Ace of Swords:
Initially, the air acts as an insulator between the positive and negative charges in the cloud and the ground.  But eventually the differences in charges become too great, and there is a rapid discharge of electricity known as lightning.  It is an awesome power that may leave an impact on the earth it touches, much like the power of innovative ideas.  Similar to the quick flash in the sky, an idea may be lost if I don't actively pursue it with something discernible.  Other priorities and desires will soon push it to a dark, dusty corner like a book that is never read.

From the Medicine Cards comes "Ant:"
Since the temperatures have begun cooling off, we've had fire ant beds popping up all over.  They seem to be able to make anywhere home, whether it is a yard or a crack in the asphalt.  The one characteristic I notice about them (besides their fiery bite) is the way they work together.  Each has a job assigned, and like the gears in a clock, they move as a team to accomplish each task.  I realize that I have assets as well as deficits, and there are some projects that will require the help of others if they are ever going to get off the ground. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Effortless Smiling

From the Prairie Tarot, the Jackalope:
Part jackrabbit, part antelope, this card is a version of the "Happy Squirrel;" Ator writes " A creature rarely seen, this jackrabbit wearing an antelope's horns embodies the fantastic, the unexpected, the surprising…. It can signify luck, a bolt from the blue, or the crazy gamble."  What does it mean to me?  Don't take life so seriously all the time.  Here are three "thought goals" for myself:
1. I can take care of my responsibilities and still have fun.  The trick is to let other people take care of their own obligations so I'll have the time.
2. Life is short.  I don't want to spend all my time being so serious that I miss the beauty, relationships, and belly laughs around me.
3. Fun and laughter can relieve stress and ease pain; they remind me that perfection is just a figment of my imagination.

From the Medicine Cards comes the "Buffalo":
For the native people of North America, the buffalo represented survival.  Nothing from this magnificent animal was wasted when it was hunted (which was done in a sacred manner rather than for sport).  Buffalo is a reminder for me to look at all that is good in my life and be grateful.  These blessings are highlighted today as I will be driving to visit my mom, while a dear friend will be traveling many miles to bury hers.  I do have much to be grateful about that has nothing to do with material possessions.  And being thankful leads to effortless smiling...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hunting for the Hidden

From the Prairie Tarot, the Page of Cups:
I'm sure I just heard an "Aw shucks" from this guy, and that he is blushing beneath the brim of his hat.  He is as sweet as he seems with no hidden agendas.  He loves surprising others with small deeds of kindness and doesn't mind giving someone a hug if he or she needs one.  This Page's perceptions are channeled through how he feels, both emotionally and intuitively.  He can read a group or an individual without any words being spoken.  However, he is a bit of an emotional sponge and needs to be careful he doesn't soak up too much of that water rushing around him, as he tends to take things too personally at times.

From the Medicine Cards comes "Weasel:"
A silent observer with an excellent sense of smell, Weasel is a skillful hunter whose long, lean body enables him to follow and track his prey in narrow places.  Weasel's lesson is in seeking what is hidden and trusting one's senses, then using this information for good purposes.  I have one friend who will call me up and talk for two hours nonstop, telling me all about her latest problems and resentments.  Another friend keeps her feelings and worries mostly to herself, and I have to listen carefully and watch for subtle clues that all is not well.  The Page above and Weasel remind me that there may be someone in need of a small kindness today, but I will have to use my "hunting" skills to find them.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Taking Care of the Basics

From the Prairie Tarot, the Ace of Pentacles:

The physicality and groundedness of this Ace is shown in the majestic mountains, along with the evergreen trees below.  My friend Jema drew this card the other day and commented on her blog that "we must see to our basic needs first, before setting out to ascend anything," and I heartily agree.  Whether I seek enlightenment or a chance to make a small difference in the world, it is important to make my essential needs a priority.  But just writing that statement makes me feel selfish and self-centered...  Since when did it become "spiritually correct" to ignore your own needs while taking care of others?  Do you get some kind of brownie points for this?

From the Medicine Cards today comes "Moose:"
With his huge rack of antlers that could pass as small trees and his oddly shaped body, Moose may seem like a real pushover in the animal kingdom.  But his awkwardness is not what it appears - he is powerful and agile, easily defending himself and his territory.  This time of year, the male grunts and bellows loudly to attract a mate, having no timidity about advertising himself as a prime candidate.  His call reminds me that it is okay to tell myself I've done a good job; everyone needs a pat on the back even if you're the one that has to do it.  So today I'll give myself a nod for sticking with my daily exercise and healthy eating habits.  It does require making them a priority, and besides, I'm the only one who can do it.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mentally and Acoustically Oriented

From the Prairie Tarot, the Page of Swords:
This fellow is as intellectually sharp as his sword, and his talents in observation and listening are highly tuned.  He reminds me of Sherlock on the new show "Elementary;" he almost exclusively relies on his brain to process information (see how he leans on his sword?), to the extent that he has almost no emotional sensitivity or tact.  All those leaves blowing around in the background are the stir he has caused by saying what was on his mind, which is often powerful because of his need to base everything on fact rather than opinion.  And of course there is nothing wrong with truth, but there is a way to be honest and respectful at the same time.

From the Medicine Cards comes "Whale:"
When I think of Whale, I think of the haunting songs it creates.  Cornell University researcher Christopher Clark stated, "With sound that is loud and low, in other words, 'beautifully designed' for long distance travel, the singing of a whale in the waters off Puerto Rico could carry 2,600km to the shores of Newfoundland."  Clark also notes that whales are highly acoustically oriented, with their consciousness and sense of self based on sound, not sight.  Would I change my tone and use my words more carefully if I were oriented in this same way?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Navigating Currents

From the Prairie Tarot, the Chariot:
Early rail lines were made of wood; horses could pull the carts much easier on rail than over road.  By the 1830's, steam-powered locomotives became common.  Ator seems to have combined both of these inventions in the Chariot card.  The rails in this card remind me that no matter what my goal or challenge, it is likely someone has already blazed a trail.  I may have to do things differently than they did (horse power vs. steam power), but I can rely and seek support from those who've struggled and succeeded.

From the Medicine Cards today comes "Salmon:"
The salmon returns to the place it was born in order to spawn, navigating currents and predators to get there.  Its message is one of determination and courage - persist until the goal is reached.  The journey to the place of its native waters encourage me to look to my ancestry for information as well.  This card reminded me of one of my German relatives who discovered when he arrived in America that he only had enough money for his wife and children to travel inland.  He saw them off on the train, then proceeded to walk the 300 miles until he reached them.